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The Office of Undergraduate Research

Outreach Team

Grant Boggess

My name is Grant Boggess and I am Junior from Lexington, KY. I am a Mechanical and Materials Engineering double major. On campus I am involved with the Quizbowl Team, Campus Crusade for Christ, being a UK 101 instructor and Materials Advantage, the Materials Engineering honor society. I also work in the Physical Therapy BioMotion lab at UK studying running injuries and ways to model human motion. My favorite thing on campus is attending UK basketball games in the E-Rupp-tion Zone and making it to some of the smaller sports teams as well.

Boggess

Steven Chapman

I am a junior chemistry major from Hopkinsville, Kentucky. I am a Chellgren Fellow, and I began organic chemistry synthesis research my sophomore year under Prof. Susan Odom. During the summer of 2014, I started materials chemistry research at Penn State University. In addition to research, I am passionate about DanceBlue and serve on the morale committee. Along with being active in the community service organization, Alpha Phi Omega, I am a black belt in tae-kwon-do and enjoy tennis. After graduation, I plan on either going through dental school for orthodontics or going to graduate school to continue chemistry research.

Chapman

Erika Darnell

I am Erika Darnell, a junior from Benton, KY. I am a Chemistry major, planning on going to pharmacy school. As a sophomore I became a Chellgren Fellow, and I began to conduct research under Dr. Stephen Testa as part of the program. I also received a Summer Undergraduate Research Grant for the summer of 2014 to continue my research on ruthenium complex interactions with DNA in solution. I am currently in the process of applying to pharmacy schools. When I’m not studying, you can find me swimming or hanging out with my Phi Sigma Rho sorority sisters.

Darnell

Cailin Harris

My name is Cailin  Harris and I am a biology major here at UK with an emphasis on pre-pharmacy. I am currently a sophomore and I’m originally from Nashville TN. I have done some research in the College of Pharmacy in Cystic Fibrosis with Dr. Feola. I played on the Varsity Women’s Soccer Team for a year, and I am also a Singletary Scholar. I joined the Chellgren Student Fellowship at the end of my freshman year and I’ve loved every minute of it. I love living in Lexington and I can’t wait for what this next year is going to bring!

Harris

Erica Mattingly

My name is Erica Mattingly, and I am a Senior at UK. I was raised in rural Greensburg, KY with a population under 3000. I am a Linguistics and Spanish double major with a minor in Islamic Studies. I was the Vice President of the  University of Kentucky Arabic Club in my second year, and I spent the summer of 2013 studying Spanish in Costa Rica through a UK partner immersion program. As a 2012 Chellgren Student Fellow, I worked with Dr. Andrew Byrd of the Linguistics Program on historical research of the Spanish changes in phonology as a result of the Classical Arabic influence. This fall I will be applying for the Boren, a competitive external scholarship, and I am currently in preparation for the application process.

Mattingly

Rachel Newcomb

My name is Rachel Newcomb and I’m a junior biology major from Danville, KY. As an undergraduate researcher, I work in the lab of Dr. Sangderk Lee investigating pathological mechanisms of atherosclerosis. I also researched cancer biology in the lab of Dr. Kris Wood as a 2013 Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy Summer Research Fellow. Outside of research, I’m a member of the Honors Program and Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. I also enjoy reading, listening to music, and playing guitar. After graduation I plan on pursuing a Ph.D., with aspirations of a career in biomedical research.

Newcomb

Katelyn Sandell

My name is Katelyn Sandell and I am a junior biochemistry pre-med major originally from Louisville, KY. I hope to one day become a pediatric doctor and travel with Doctors Without Borders. I became involved in undergraduate research my sophomore year in Dr. Atwood’s lab in the department of chemistry and am a Chellgren Student Fellow. Over the past year I have been fortunate enough to pursue my dream of traveling across the world on a medical mission trip to Kodiakanal, India and a study abroad experience throughout Italy and Paris. I am also a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and a FUSION site leader. In my free time, I love to volunteer around the Lexington community, read, and hang out with friends.

Sandell

Brenton Smith

My name is Brenton Smith, and I am from Corbin, Kentucky. I am a junior pursuing degrees in Economics and Mass & Digital Communication, as well as a minor in Digital Media & Design. I am a Chellgren Fellow, and through that program got involved in undergraduate research. I work with Dr. Alan DeSantis in the Department of Communication on undergraduate perceptions of ADHD stimulant abuse and the identification and analysis of the thematic trends of modern rap music. I am the Director of Pop Culture for the Student Activities Board, overseeing the execution of a variety of campus events that cater to the interests of our diverse student body. In addition to my involvement on campus, I work for Operation UNITE to aid in fighting drug abuse in my home 5th Congressional District, which makes up most of Eastern Kentucky. I am a passionate University of Kentucky Wildcats fan, and in addition to supporting all athletic events, my spare time is spent enjoying film, reading, and appreciating the outdoors.

Smith

Daniella Straathof

I am Daniëlla Straathof, an Agricultural Economics major and International Studies minor from Ohio. I was raised in the Netherlands and love traveling and getting to know new people and cultures. In addition to being a Chellgren Student Fellow I have done research on ellipticals at UK’s Recreation Center that generate electricity when people work out on them. We held a promotional program and found it did increase electricity production. I’m on the Ag Econ Quiz Bowl team and a College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment Ambassador. I’m passionate about agriculture and my faith, I’m involved with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students; ask me about getting involved, finding opportunities, I’d love to help!

Straathof

Christina Thompson

My name is Christina Thompson and I am a senior Nursing major. I am from Elizabethtown, KY and attended Georgetown College before UK. I am involved in undergraduate research, where I look at different influences on preterm birth with my mentor, Dr. Kristin Ashford. I have presented my research at the Southern Nursing Research Society Conference, the Kentucky State Capital, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and the UK College of Nursing Student Scholarship Showcase. I serve as our class secretary and the secretary of the board of the Undergraduate Nursing Advisory and Activities Council. I am a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing, and the Southern Nursing Research Society. I enjoy playing club soccer for UK and being outdoors playing any sport. I plan to attend graduate school to pursue an Advanced Practice degree in nursing.

Thompson

Jay Van Doorn

My name is Jay Van Doorn and I am from Clarksville, Tennessee.  I am currently a Junior and pursuing a double major in Biology and Mathematical Sciences with minors in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science. I am working toward the goal of a PhD in Computational Neuroscience for a career in research. I am a Chellgren Fellow and am involved in undergraduate research under Dr. Diane Snow in the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center.  My research involves treatments that could vastly improve the quality of life for those with spinal cord and brain injuries.  When I am not wholly involved in my education I also enjoy a broad range of sports, frequently volunteer for charity events, and appreciate and amuse myself with the arts.

Van_Doorn

Sarah Whelan

My name is Sarah Whelan, and I am from Summersville, West Virginia. I am a senior Biology major. Besides being a Student Outreach Team member, I am also the President of SPUR here on campus. I came to UK on a Patterson Scholarship for National Merit Scholars. I am also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, a Chellgren Fellow, and in the Honors Program. After college, I plan on going to graduate school and earning a PhD in Biology. I work with Dr. Jeramiah Smith in the Biology Department. My current research project is characterizing the lamprey germline throughout development. I have received grants for my research from AMSTEMM and the Ribble Foundation, and have been to several conferences, including the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR), and the International Plant and Animal Genomes Conference (PAG). My main hobby is painting landscapes of the places I’ve visited.

Whelan